July 5, 2018 • St. Kizito's Scholars
Ojok Ayella Joel is a grateful recipient of the St. Kizito Foundation and one of the foundation’s promising graduates.
Joel was the firstborn in a family of five children. His father was a soldier who worked in the Kireka Army Barracks in the Kampala district. The rest of the family resided in the district of Gulu. In the mid-nineties, Joel’s mother and siblings joined his dad in Kireka. It was here where Joel started school. Tragedy struck in 1998 when Joel’s father died, changing the family’s circumstances.
Joel’s mother and the family relocated to an area called “Acholi Quarters,” where most of the population was from northern Uganda due to war in the north part of the country. Joel’s mother took a job in a stone quarry, with Joel joining her whenever he was not in school. Joel was sent to St. Paul Primary school. His mother had talked to the school administration at St. Paul and arranged for the school fees to be paid in installments. Eventually, Joel was able to finish Primary School.
Joel continued with his secondary education due to his mother’s hard work and persistent determination. Together with his mother and his hard work, they were able to scrape enough money together to keep the family afloat and keep Joel going to school most of the time.
Eventually, Joel became interested in learning construction skills. Construction did not pay well, so Joel earned much-needed money from baking bread and working as a “Boda Boda.” A Boda Boda is a motorcycle or bike taxi driver. Joel began Boda Boda riding in 2012. By God’s good design, he met Fr. Don Dunson who was a passenger on one of his rides. Over time, Joel and Fr. Don got to know each other, resulting in Fr. Don inviting Joel to apply to the St. Kizito Foundation for scholarship assistance. Joel applied in 2013.
Things began to look up for Joel. He obtained the necessary education and certificates in building and concrete practices. Joel earned a National Diploma in Building and Civil Engineering in August 2017. His educational accomplishments and the resulting work benefits Joel and his family.
Today the future looks brighter for Joel and his family. Joel is deeply grateful to the St. Kizito Foundation and all he has accomplished with their help and support. We at the St. Kizito Foundation are deeply grateful, also, to have been God’s instrument in helping Joel achieve his dreams.